I think #42 and #43 got together the first night I went home with #37. They went out for a couple of months, maybe, and then had an amicable break-up and remained good friends. The three of us kissed each other at Beltane. We were up Calton Hill and I think we were dancing in our bras, and #42 had just enthusiastically yelled something in Latin that was apparently a Bryn Mawr tradition. We all kissed again at New Year when #42 was back in town.
#43 and I vaguely fell out of contact, but thanks to the wonders of the internet we were all reunited years ago. I had drinks with her in Berlin when we were there at the same time, and last year when #42 visited Edinburgh again – nearly a decade since she’d last been here – #43 came and hung out with us too. Just like old times.
I have this one hazy memory which isn’t really about her, it’s about me and some shit that was going on with me at the time. It must have been September 2002. I had just started a new job and it was the night that La Belle Angèle burned down in a fire, though I didn’t know that at the time. I had gone to a friend’s for dinner and then decided to take a shortcut to a party in Marchmont. The shortcut was complete guesswork and I was quite drunk. To my surprise, I stumbled across #43 in a street I wasn’t familiar with. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time. I talked her into coming along to the party with me; I only knew one person there, and I was in no fit condition to be there, not when the alcohol had unleashed all the angst I’d been storing up. I was in an abusive relationship, going through the motions and pretending to everybody that things were fine, and that had a whole lot to do with why I was so horrendously drunk and why I stayed out at the party for so long. I didn’t want to go home. I guess #43 was worried about me, but she couldn’t stay too long, and left me in the care of my friend Will. I think I cried on a stranger that night and he wanted to meet me again but I couldn’t really remember what had happened or think what I could say to him. I was embarrassed that I’d been such a mess.
It was weird seeing #43 again in Berlin, remembering that that was the state I’d been in the last time I saw her, knowing I’d never explained the full extent of what was going on with me.